People in India are changing the cars they buy because the traffic is so bad

Category: Road

India’s huge traffic jams can leave cars running at under 5 kilometers an hour making it faster to walk than drive.

Cars that are easier to drive are now pushed to consumers by commutes. More are buying pricier automatic gear cars and moving away from the manual stick that have made cars in India move slow.

This was a good news to global manufacturer brands and made it so they can come faster to India, without waiting to tailor local versions. In the next five years ton of new brands will flood India, intensifying competition in the country’s $30 billion auto market, which is expected to be behind only China and the rank in sales by 2020.

Average driving time is going up to 2 hours a day, “a driver looks forward to ease of driving, especially in the traffic conditions faced in India,” according to India’s Tata Motors Ltd. “This is one of the most important drivers pushing the demand of an automatic car.”

As the market develops and Indians upgrade, more companies are pushing in. China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp., is preparing to set up its first plant in India. The Shanghai-based state-owned company will bring its MG brand to India and begin operations in 2019. The auto giant Kia Motors Corp. from South Korea is also planning an entry.

Because automatics are slightly costlier, Indian buyers have been hesitant to shift, thats why the country still lags far behind the U.S and other countries in using them.

Just north of 5 percent of total automatic vehicles sales, proportion has been doubled from two years ago, but its still a tiny percentage compared with developed markets such as the U.S. The crowded traffic is only expected to rise with rapid growth in urban population and vehicle ownership.

Principal, at consultancy AT Kearney Rahul Mishra said automatic transmission cars are likely to become a more dominant segment.

“Slow traffic in large cities resulting in fatigue from manual transmission cars will be a prominent driver,” Mishra said. He also said increased affordability of these vehicles will also drive penetration.

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